Education for Sustainable Development 

Student analysing plants

Sustainability embedded curriculum

The University are embedding education for sustainable development (ESD) in our courses so that students gain ESD knowledge. Thus, we offer a wide range of taught modules with subject-relevant content to support sustainable development. Through these courses students will understand how to address social, environmental, and / or economic concerns and develop key competencies for sustainability. The University undertakes an annual curriculum audit to review and report on the progress of integration of ESD into the curriculum.


For further information head to the Education for Sustainability Moodle page. Its purpose is to provide colleagues and students with links to policy, organisations, and resources that may be of use for research or when embedding sustainability into the curriculum.

Degree programmes and modules with sustainability content:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

East 15 Acting School

East 15 Acting School

  • EA119 Contextual and Community Studies
  • EA171 Theatre History in a Global Context
  • EA323 Issue-Led Theatre

Edge Hotel School   

Edge Hotel School

  • EG221 Sustainability in Hospitality
  • EG221 Sustainability in Events

Essex Law School / Interdisciplinary Studies Centre 

Essex Law School

  • LW219 Selected Issues in Public International Law
  • LW352 Legal Ethics and Justice
  • LW356 International Environmental Law
  • LW515 Regional Human Rights Systems
  • LW622 International Law of the Sea
  • LW928 International Environmental Law and Sustainability
  • LW930 Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in Context
  • LW941 Corporate Responsibility and Business Law

Essex Pathways

 Essex Pathways

  • IA102 Introduction to Biology
  • IA118 Becoming Enlightened Citizens: Foundations in Politics and Government
  • IA158 Introduction to Sociology and Criminology

Department of History 


  • HR107 Early Modern Europe in Global Context: Encounters, Exchanges, and Exploitation

Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

  • LT203 "I, too sing America": Identity, Diversity, and Voice in United States Literature
  • LT218 Black Lives Represented: Writing, Art, Politics and Society
  • LT269 Climate Emergency: Narrating the Environment and Writing the Wild
  • TH343 Theatre and Human Rights
  • LT397 Extinction: Looking back at the End of the World 
  • LT904 The New Nature Writing
  • LT975 Wild Writing

School of Philosophy and Art History / Interdisciplinary Studies Centre 

School of Philosophy and Art History

    • AR325 Art and Nature
    • AR959 Heritage and Human Rights
    • PY911: Environmental Philosophy (MA)
    • PY911: Environmental Philosophy (Undergraduate)

    Interdisciplinary Studies Centre 

     Interdisciplinary studies
    • BA Global Studies with Sustainability
    • MA in Environment, Society and Culture.
    • CS200 Social Entrepreneurs, Sustainability and Community Action
    • CS201 The World in Question: The Social, Cultural and Political Legacies of the Enlightenment
    • CS300 Community Engagement: Group Projects
    • CS315 Global Challenges in Interdisciplinary Perspective: Water Conflicts, Water Cultures

    Faculty of Science and Health

    Department of Psychology 


    • PS508 "Believing is Seeing". The power of belief and suggestion on the mind and brain

    School of Life Sciences / Essex Plant Innovation Centre (EPIC)

    School of Life Sciences

    Essex Plant Innovation

    • BSc Global Sustainability 
    • MSc Marine Science and Sustainable Development
    • MSc Tropical Marine Biology
    • BS111 Plant Biology and Ecosystems
    • BS112 Marine Ecology
    • BS113 Animal Evolution, Ecology and Behaviour
    • BS114 Marine Biology Field Skills
    • BS215 Environmental Biology and Eco-physiology Field Course
    • BS241 Ecology: Populations and Communities
    • BS243 Biodiversity and Conservation
    • BS251 Marine Biodiversity
    • BS255 Coral Reef Biology
    • BS256 Tropical Marine Field Research Skills
    • BS303 Estuarine and Coastal Ecology Field Module
    • BS307 Oceanography and Marine Conservation
    • BS344 Pollution: Impacts and Management
    • BS346 Conservation Management and Practice
    • BS352 Freshwater Ecology
    • BS354 Fisheries Ecology
    • BS832 Research Project in Ecological and Marine Sciences
    • BS705 Tropical Marine Resources
    • BS706 Tropical Marine Systems
    • BS707 Methods in Tropical Marine Biology
    • BS708 Professional Skills in Tropical Marine Biology

    School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

    School of Computer Science and Electronic Engineering

    Include sustainability, equality, diversity in the curriculum through their professional body accreditation.

    School of Health and Social Care 

     Health and Social Care

    • MSc Global Public Health
    • HS185 Welfare, Wellbeing and Health
    • HS291 Emotional, Relational and Mental Health Issues
    • HS371 Advancing Occupational Therapy
    • HS656 Social Work and Human Rights
    • HS785 Clinical Intervention and Skills 3
    • HS887 Globalisation, Health Policy and Governance
    • HS895 Mastering Occupation
    • HS958 Public Mental Health

    Faculty of Social Sciences

    Essex Business School

    Essex Business School

    • BA Global Studies with Business Management
    • BE339 Development Finance and Microcredit
    • BE402 Understanding Value and Values
    • BE422 Business and International Development
    • BE432 Financial Crashes and Consequences
    • BE439 Business Ethics
    • BE448 Innovation and Sustainability
    • BE467 Managing for Ethics and Sustainability
    • BE530 Critical Marketing Perspectives
    • BE876 Social Entrepreneurship, Social Innovation and Impact
    • BE940 Cooperative Management and Marketing – Capstone Module

    Department of Economics

    Department of Economics

    • EC205 Poverty, Community and Development 
    • EC383 Environmental Economics

    Department of Government

    Department of Government

    • BA International Development
    • MA Environmental Futures with Climate Change
    • MSc Environmental Futures with Climate Change
    • MA Political Economy
    • GV253 Analysing Policy Disclosure

    Department of Language and Linguistics 

    Language and Linguistics

    •  LG470 Introduction to embedding sustainability into TEFL and TESOL

    Department of Sociology

    Department of Sociology

    • BA Sociology and Health
    • BA Sociology with Human Rights
    • BA Social Anthropology with Human Rights
    • MA Migration Studies
    • SC107 Introduction to Social Anthropology
    • SC111 The Sociological Imagination
    • SC204 Sociology of Crime and Control
    • SC209 Environment, Sustainability and Climate Change
    • SC301 Rethinking modernity
    • SC304 Globalization and Crime
    • SC340 The Current Issues in Social Science
    • SC361 American Society: Ethnic Encounters in the making of the US
    • SC507 Consumption, political economy and sustainability
    • SC901 Topics in Contemporary Social Theory
    • SC920 Colonialism, Cultural Diversity and Human Rights

    School of Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences  

    Sport Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

    • SE205 Health and Active Lifestyle
    • SE755 Promoting Health and Activity

    Cross University Research Event (CURE)

    The Cross University Research Event (CURE) takes place throughout the academic year, where researchers across the University share their expertise in the format of TED-style talks. Talks are based on a variety of themes with faculty-relevant content that promotes sustainable development.

    CURE events comprise an hour of three-minute presentations from leading Essex researchers across all three faculties, followed by networking. To find upcoming events head to the CURE webpage.

    Summer School in Sustainable Practice

    The Summer School in Sustainable Practice is an annual 2-week intensive course, aimed at providing students with a broad introduction to key concepts and ideas in the theory and practice of sustainability.

    Upon completion, students receive the Certificate in Sustainable Practice, which will appear on their Higher Education Achievement Record (HEAR).

    The course is open to all undergraduate and postgraduate students.

    If you are a first or second year student, completing the Summer School will count as 50 points towards the Big Essex Award, which you can collect retrospectively in September.

    Key concepts addressed in this course

    • Climate change
    • Circular economy
    • Nature, health and well-being
    • Conserving biodiversity
    • Resilience
    • Permaculture design
    • Organic and local food
    • Renewable energy
    • Sustainable transport 
    • Materials awareness
    • Overcoming ecological estrangement 
    • Waste
    • Emissions reduction
    • Ecosystem services

    How to apply

    Anyone who would like to enrol on the Summer School should send an application letter and two-page CV to Dr Jane Hindley as soon as possible.

    We will be holding the first round of interviews in the first week of the Easter vacation. Once we have received your application we will assign you an interview slot.

    In your application letter please address the following points:

    • Why would you like to enrol on the summer school?
    • Do you have any knowledge/experience relating to environmental issues and the theory/ practice of sustainability?
    • Which area of sustainable practice (biodiversity, energy, food, waste, transport), interests you most and why?
    • Are you available for a face-to-face interview on Monday 25 or Tuesday 26th March ? If not are you available on zoom?

    UoE Sustainability on social media:

    Get in touch
    Sustainability Team